Los Angeles Dodgers: How the Pennant was Won

Los Angeles Dodgers (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Los Angeles Dodgers (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images) /

The Los Angeles Dodgers are heading to the World Series after defeating the Braves in Game 7. Here’s how they did it.

The Los Angeles Dodgers pulled off a historic comeback Sunday night in Arlington, Texas. With their 4-3 win over the Atlanta in Game Seven of the National League Championship Series (NLCS), the Dodgers for the first time in franchise history came back from a 3-1 series deficit.

The win clinched their 21st NL pennant and for the third time in four years they will play in the World Series, something they haven’t done since the 1960’s (1963-1966). The Dodgers truly put together a team effort pulling together putting up their best three-game winning streak of the season.

For now, the Dodgers staved off some of their playoff ghosts and once again have a chance to end their 30 years plus World Series win drought. Let’s look back at how they completed their historic comeback.

Dodgers bring the hammer

After struggling in the early rounds of the playoffs showing off their muscles, the Dodgers brought the hammer and bludgeoned the Braves with the home run ball. Though they went 5-0 going into the NLCS the Dodgers only hit two home runs in those five wins, in the NLCS the Dodgers sleeping bats really woke up out homering the Braves 16 to 9.

After pounding the Braves in Game Three 15-3 on the strength of five home runs, the Dodgers outhomered the Braves 6 to 1 in their other three wins. Game Seven was emblematic of the Dodgers use of the longball, down 3-2 in the bottom of the sixth, Enrique Hernandez pinch-hitting for Joc Pederson tied the game in an eight-pitch at-bat with a solo home run.

One inning later again on the eighth pitch the Dodgers went ahead for good when Cody Bellinger went deep to give the Dodgers the winning run.

Defense wins championships

Whether it was Mookie Betts in right field or Bellinger in center, the Dodgers brought their A-plus defense that kept coming up when the opportunity presented itself. Betts made a great grab for the third consecutive game robbing Freddie Freeman of a home run.

The best defensive play and the turning point of the game occurred in the top of the fourth, with the Braves leading 3-2 and runners on second and third with no outs. Justin Turner fielded a groundball threw home, and a rundown ensued that got the runner, Turner wisely turned around and then threw to third to get another runner, and before anyone knew it the Braves go-ahead runs were out and they never threatened again.

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“And a child shall lead them”

The Dodgers called on a lot of young arms to get to four wins and make the World Series, none rose to the occasion more than their 24 year-old left-handed spot starter Julio Urias. In two appearances Urias went 2-0 with a 1.13 ERA over eight innings.

Urias ate up five innings in the Dodgers 15-3 blowout Game Three win, and then in Game Seven, he pitched three straight innings of no-hit ball to close the series and clinch the pennant. Urias has been by far the Dodgers most consistent pitcher in the playoffs giving up one earned run in 16 innings, he continues to be a key to the Dodgers playoff success.

Seager comes up big

Corey Seager was named the NLCS MVP after he broke out in a big way, setting an NLCS record with five home runs and 11 RBI. Seager was unable to add to his total in Game Seven but throughout the series, Seager was the catalyst to the Dodgers offense.

It was Seager who almost pulled off the Dodgers comeback in Game Two driving in four runs all after the seventh inning when the Dodgers were trailing 7-0. In Game Three Seager scored three runs and drove in three after getting three hits. In Game’s Five and Six it was Seager again leading the way going 3-8 with three home runs and four runs batted in to clinch his NLCS records.

Seager missed the Dodgers last two NLCS (2017-18) wins due to injury, this time when his team needed him most he came up big on the big stage and are now four wins from a World Series title.